Staying focused sounds simple enough, but it's something a lot of  Brazilian jiu-jitsu students struggle with. Every aspect of training is valuable, but people often focus on the parts they enjoy most. It is important to arrive on time and participate in every part of the class: from warm-ups to drills and finally free training (sparring). Some students view warm-ups as boring, but warm-ups help develop the movement and reactions necessary to reaching the higher levels of the art. Drills and technical training are sometimes waxed over, as well, especially if it is material you have already been exposed to. Don’t rush through the drills just so you can say you did them. Take the time to do each repetition correctly. Pay attention to the little details. Remember this rule: The way you practice is the way you will perform. If your application is sloppy in practice, expect the same results when grappling against a resisting opponent. Learn to keep your focus during the entire class. Also, take advantage of the entire class. After one or two rounds of free training, students often give up from fatigue. Training when you are tired offers a wonderful opportunity to learn, and it's also a great mental challenge. When you only have a small window of time in your day to dedicate to your training, you should commit everything you have to it. Remember to focus on learning. You are a student first and foremost. In the era of YouTube, Facebook and other forms of social media, anyone can be a teacher. Don't spend all your time trying to “teach” your partners. That is the instructor’s job. It’s a great feeling to be able to share the knowledge you are gaining, but it can take away from your focus. There is nothing wrong with assisting a student who asks for your help, but leave the bulk of it for the instructor. I am fortunate to have trained exclusively at the Jean Jacques Machado Academy. Before I became a black belt, whenever someone asked me a question, I was always polite and appreciative when I told them, “This is how I would approach your problem, but let’s go ask Jean Jacques together so I can hear his response, as well.” This also gave me valuable insight into Jean Jacques' teaching abilities. I never strayed from the student mindset, and it helped me stay on my path toward earning a black belt. About the Author: Jay Zeballos is a Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 gold-medalist black belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He has been training with him for more than a decade. Zeballos is also the co-author of The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. His most recent book with Machado is The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense.

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.

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Host country Japan continued to run roughshod over judo at the Olympics Thursday winning both golds on day 6 of competition in Tokyo. Shori Hamada's match in the women's 78 kg division was over almost before it began as her French opponent, Madeleine Malonga, missed on an inside trip attempt just 10 seconds into the contest allowing the ground specialist, Hamada, to take it to the mat. Hamada worked her way free of Malonga's legs and into a hold down position for an easy pin to take the gold medal.

In the men's 100 kg category, Japan's Aaron Wolf waited until overtime against South Korea's Cho Gu-ham before going for his own ouchi gari, inside trip. Unlike Malonga though, Wolf, whose father is American and mother Japanese, landed his perfectly putting Cho flat on his back for an ippon, full point, to take the finals. Japan has now tied their own record for most gold medals (8) in a single Olympic judo competition with three events still to go.


There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles and advertisements, all touting the myriad of benefits children receive from studying martial arts. Let's assume the reader is already sold on the idea of having their child study martial arts, and now it's just a matter of finding the right school. As a former school owner myself, I thought I would share three things to consider when choosing a martial arts school for your child.
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